A Gardening Cycle Is Complete

The most important thing about our garden receiving 594mm of rain this month, (the 50 year December average is 123.2mm), is that I have now lived here and successfully grown food through both extreme, prolonged drought and prolonged, saturating rain, a period covering seven years. December brought no flooding in this property. Some stormwater escaped…

‘Bellis’ – A Model 21st Century Garden

‘Bellis’, Brisbane’s award winning sustainable house and garden, is now seven years old. Last October this place won a national Save Water! Award in the Built Environment category. Since its inception, this 810 square metre property has collected over 7 megalitres of rainwater and recycled over 3 megalitres of sewage water. In the ornamental subtropical…

Sustainability Beyond Traveston Dam

The Queensland government has been humiliated by the rejection of the proposed Traveston Crossing Dam on the Mary River. But in proposing the dam the government has also ignored key opportunities for sustainable, responsible development. Instead of squandering over $500 million of taxpayers money on an unviable dam project, the state government instead could have…

Save The Mary!

THE THIRD ANNIVERSARY FLOATILLA Today we drove to Traveston Crossing to take part in the dryer parts of the third anniversary floatilla. Nicholas de Boos, a photographer friend from Sydney, came along too. Here are some impressions of the day.

Why Your Vote Can Save More Than The Mary River

As an Executive Member of Queensland Conservation, I wholeheartedly support the Save the Mary campaign. I am deeply concerned that any government could consider building the Traveston Crossing dam for several reasons.

How Do I Prevent My Garden From Spreading Mosquito-Borne Diseases?

Is gardening fashion fanning ill health? Cairns City Council has increased on-the-spot fines for homeowners found to have mosquitoes breeding on their property to $400. John Pilspanen, of Queensland Health, says the disease will keep spreading until everyone takes the necessary precautions. Queensland Health is concerned about the increasing infection rate of the current dengue…

King Tides Now – Commoners By 2050

Rising sea levels have major implications for coastal gardens. Yesterday’s king tide gave us the perfect opportunity to see what will be commonplace by 2050. One corner of the world that is experiencing greater than average sea level rises is north eastern Australia. Even if all greenhouse gas emissions ceased immediately, oceans respond very slowly….

Lood Mitigation For Southeast Queensland Starts Here

Today Tamworth is cut into two by floodwaters from falls of over 150mm rain. Storms are predicted for southeast Queensland and the Northern Rivers of NSW, and southeast Queensland continues to mop up and count the cost of flood damage caused by two nights of rain. NSW State Emergency service’s Namoi division controller Kathleen Caine…

Polluter Pays?

A Dutch environmental consultancy has revealed that the coal industry is costing the international community $170 billion damage each year due to natural disasters caused by Global Warming. Warming is one disaster. Ocean acidification is another gift of fossil fuels. Rising carbon dioxide levels are increasing acidity in the oceans more than ten times faster…

Big Solutions Create Bigger Problems

Built or not the Traveston Dam is an historic relic of a bygone era. Building it in defiance of all the science, in defiance of a united community, and during a rapidly warming climate defines Queensland as a 21st century failed state. Shelving it in favour of a strong environment supporting our food and water security and protecting endangered species might yet make us a smart one.

The First Day Of Crematoria

The first koel of summer has called, the first mosquito has bitten and the first dust storm has sprinkled Brisbane red ochre. While I’m out there watering, counting every drop as it falls onto the crisped ground, thunderstorm clouds are full of promise yet lacking in rain. It’s the first day of crematoria, south east Queensland’s flexible new season, that bridges that rigid, neat European concept of spring and summer.